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The house is quiet this morning. No one is racing around the place looking for their sandals or their swimsuit. The kitchen is cleaned up and there are no cookies to frantically put together for a Girl Scout event. The only attempts at speech are of the canine variety and suffice it to say I don’t really know what my dog is trying to say. I’m sure it involves food or scratching or finding the perfect disgusting thing to roll around in but I am not versed in the ways of dog speech.

The only sounds currently are those of the machine variety that most of us tune out during the normal course of our day. I can currently hear the fridge in the other room. I didn’t realize until now how much noise it produces. I do remember looking through the instructions for it when we first bought it and laughing at some of the attempts to describe certain noises and what is normal and what isn’t normal. “If you hear a sound that sounds like a soft whhhhhhhhhrrrrrr the fridge is operating normally – don’t panic. On the other hand, if you hear a sound like CRRAKAKKKKKTOTOTOPPPP immediately call 911 and pray that help arrives quickly.” Grim visions of angry ice cubes tormenting my innocent family, running to the neighbors, the refrigerator blowing up all fill my visage. Oh the humanity.

If you haven’t guessed already, JJ and Ella are out on another summer excursion. This time, they have ramped up the adventure meter and are camping up in the Olympic Rainforest. Way cool. They’ll be coming home with great stories, multiple bug bites and everything that comes in to the house will smell like a campfire. Me? I’ll reassure them that another day has passed without the fridge spitting angry ice pellets at me. The perils of temporary bachelorhood are indeed nothing to scoff at.

In all honesty, the house is too quiet. I miss the activity, the schedules, the noise – I miss my family.

A home is many things to each of us but over the course of the last decade I believe too much emphasis has been placed on looking at a house as an investment, an all-important net worth enabler, a part of a fiscal plan. A somewhat cold and lifeless place to park our organic selves while a magical cash register rings with the intake and exhale of our every breath – is this really what we want to envision our home to be? I think the truth is something more simple – that a home is defined not by the fiscal net gains but by the memories we make, the love we share and the comfort of familiarity to be shared with those that mean the most to us.

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